The Cycling World Championships may still be three years away, but some of the state's top cyclists will have the opportunity to experience Wollongong's stunning scenery at the city's annual criterium race on Sunday.
Contested on the streets of Flagstaff Hill and surrounds, competitors will be forced to keep their eyes on the racing and not on the city's views, as they race along the promenade.
Emerging Wollongong cycling talent Jarrod Williams said the race is one of his favourites each year and he's looking forward to producing an impressive result on his home track.
"It's an iconic place in Wollongong," Williams said. "It's also a pretty beautiful place as well. It is always nice to race at home with such great scenery.
"It's a very fast track, there's no technical corners except for one hairpin just after the start-finish line. It's very fast and flowing, a track that can make the race go either way. It can be a breakaway or stay together for a bunch sprint. It's anyone's game."
Williams will line up alongside a talented field in what will be the final race of the Cycling NSW Criterium Series.
Canberra's Tom Chester and Sydney Uni's Jesse Coyle are currently locked at the top of the overall standings, the pair set to race for the series victory on Sunday.
Wollongong's Luke Britten will also line up on the startline, the 18-year-old chasing a top-five finish to kickstart his summer of racing.
Sunday's race forms a key part in both Britten and Williams' preparations for January's Road National Championships, with the pair chasing solid results in the under 23 races.
With that competition in mind, Britten is preparing for all race outcomes on Saturday. He is, however, hoping for a fast race packed with action and breakaways.
Should the right split happen, Britten will look to jump in and ride his way to victory.
"I'm just gong to see what happens," Britten said. "With this race you can't go in with any predetermined tactics. You just have to race and see what happens, you can't predict these races.
"Anything can happen, there can be a crash in front of you, or a breakaway, a split in the bunch.
"If there is a split with a decent number of riders, I'll try and get into it. It's going to be a very fast race and that's what I want, the faster the better for me. I have the endurance, so faster races suit me."
Such is the nature of cycling, Williams has different hopes for Sunday's race.
The MTOSS Racing team member is hoping for a bunch finish, Williams aiming to use his turn of speed to outsprint his rivals.
"I like it when it stays together," Williams said. "It's more of an easier ride to the sprint finish. I'm keen for a good hitout, I'll be motivated being at home, but it's welcome pressure.
"Hopefully if there is a bunch sprint I can come out on top. I don't want to sound arrogant, but you have to have some confidence in yourself. You have to believe you can win, otherwise, what's the point of putting your number on."
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